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Math Lesson + Political Indoctrination = Foolishness

This question is not just for Christian parents, but for all. Why do you let your children be educated by nincompoops?

Lee Duigon
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This question is not just for Christian parents, but for all.

Why do you let your children be educated by nincompoops?

Case in point: a math worksheet available to teachers through Scholastic Publishing's Teacher Express, entitled "Distribute the Wealth (Understanding the Distributive Property): Scholastic Success With Multiplication (Grade 5)." You can see the actual document here.

Granted, the Distributive Property is a handy thing to know. I've always found it useful for doing sums in my head. For instance, 14 x 11 is hard to do, but much easier if you think of it as 14 x 10 (=140) + 14 x 1 (=14), 140 + 14=154.

Teacher Express tries to get this point across by illustrating it with a cute cartoon of a little girl with a ponytail clutching a bag of money in one hand and cheerily handing out bills with the other.

What's Missing?

Obviously the subtext of the lesson is that "distributing wealth" is a good thing that will make you happy. Thus Scholastic sneaks a political message into a math lesson.

But consider the information which the creators of the worksheet have left out.

Where did the girl get the money? Is it hers? Did someone give it to her as a present? Or did she earn it by babysitting, or selling lemonade? If it is her money, then she has a right to share it with others as she pleases.

But what if it is not her money? What if she stole it from her parents? What if she found a lost wallet, and instead of returning it to its rightful owner-God's law, after all, requires us to return lost property, and teaches us that to keep it is a form of theft (Exodus 22:9, Leviticus 6:3)-she kept the money to dole out to her friends? In any such case, she would not be a generous, good little child, but a thief.

What are we to make of the girl's generosity if the money is not hers but, instead, is money that other people earned by working for it-only to have it taken from them willy-nilly by some public agency, as taxes, so that it can be "distributed" to persons deemed worthy by the politicians in charge of the agency? What if the girl is part of a gang that mugs defenseless passers-by, and hands out some of the swag to persons who are in some way useful to the gang-say, by shielding them from the police?

In our current political discourse, we hear endlessly of "social justice" and the need for the federal government to correct unjust "income inequality" by "making the rich pay their fair share" so that the money can be "redistributed" to "the people."

Maybe that's what the girl on the worksheet is doing. But the line between government and a gang of strong-arm bandits, as St. Augustine observed, is not easily drawn:

"Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? ... Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, ‘What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth: but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor."[1]

Can They Really Be That Dumb?

It seems public educators don't know the difference between liberality and crime. They have left it out of the picture. It doesn't matter whose money the girl is giving away, or how she obtained it, or where it came from. There is only "Distribute the Wealth," a good thing that puts a smile on one's face.

Just "distribute" it! That is all ye know, and all ye need to know...

Perhaps the public educators are just not intelligent enough to cope with such finely nuanced issues as property rights, or how government "distribution" encourages its recipients not to work, how it depresses economic growth, the morality of class warfare, or even the morality of taking, by force, from some to give to others-minus the lion's share of the booty, which goes to funding the government agencies that administer the distribution.

If they cannot understand these things, are they really smart enough to teach your children?

Or, worse, if they do understand these issues, and purposely omit them from the instructional program, for the sake of indoctrinating students into an ignorant, uncritical support for socialism-

Are such moral imbeciles really smart enough to teach your children?

[1] Quoted by R. J. Rushdoony in Sovereignty (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 2007), 137-138.

Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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